Kitchens are one room when you really need decent storage. Utensils, crockery, dry goods, tableware – everything needs to have a place. Small galley kitchens can be the most challenging, as opening a cupboard door often blocks the room completely. Here are some tips for making the most of what you’ve got.
Sorry to start with this old cliche, but you do need to make sure you’re not giving precious storage space to things you don’t really need. Even if there are things you want to keep but don’t use every day, such as formal dinnerware, could they live somewhere other than the kitchen?
Things like mugs and glasses are bulky, and you don’t normally use more than a few per day – could the rest live somewhere else until required for guests? Be really ruthless, and try to only end up with the things you use on a regular basis. If you can, keep your worktops clear to create the illusion of maximum space.
2. Revamp your cupboards
If you have the budget for a makeover, there are some clever storage options available these days. Cupboards with doors that open up, or even up and over like garage doors, are far more space efficient as they don’t open into the room.
3. Go up, not out!
If you have limited cupboard space, then you’ll need to start using the walls. Hang racks for utensils, knives and even saucepans. Use hooks on the back of the door for towels and aprons.
Maximise your cupboard space with integral shelves – these are usually plastic grills raised on legs which create an extra level in your cupboards. They’re particularly good for stacking tins, spice bottles and jam jars which are otherwise an inefficient use of space. If you do have an outwards-opening cupboard door, is there also space to fit an internal vertical rack to it to hold spices?
4. Use those corners
Corner units can be a bit inefficient, as you’ll know if you’ve ever had to drop to your hands and knees and scrabble to get something out of the back of one – probably pulling everything else out in the process. Again, there are a lot of great solutions to this problem available now, from special ‘corner drawers’ designed to fit the space to cupboards fitted with rotating carousels which allow you to see exactly what’s there by spinning them.
5. In fact, use every bit of space you can!
Most kitchens are fitted out using standard-sized cabinets, which often means there’s a little gap left over afterwards. In a tiny area, you can’t afford to ignore any space – even a gap a few centimetres across could hold a pull-out towel rail.
Depending on the size of the gap, you could fill it with little vertical shelves, a wine rack or use it for storing trays or chopping boards. Take a look around and see if there’s any other area that hasn’t been maximised.
Could you put an extra shelf above the door, or use it to hang pans? If you have a ‘blank side’ to a cabinet (i.e. the one that’s at the end of the run, facing into the room), could you fit a row of hooks to hang towels or oven gloves?
If you have open shelving, could you fit a row of hooks underneath it for hanging mugs or utensils? Once you’ve created a clean, neat space, the only downside is that you might not want to mess it up by actually doing any cooking in there – but at least it will stay neat!
All images: Pixabay0